Insiders are calling them “the Johns.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) have been making a series of joint appearances to discuss their state-driven improvements to health care lately. Some are questioning whether this team is an alliance that is seeking momentum toward a possible independent bid for the presidency in 2020, with Kasich at the top of the ticket.
This “Johns” plan to broaden their platform from health care to immigration and job creation. On health care, they have increased their efforts and garnered a bipartisan group that includes 11 governors. They are working to compensate for job displacement because of automation with plans that include trade, workforce training — and an optimistic and hopeful message, balanced with an honest admission that some jobs just aren’t coming back.
This team has already talked with major media companies about a possible podcast or cable show so that they can cement their new brand. The conversations that they have will include topics like politics, policy and even pop culture. John Kasich is being advised by veteran consultant John Weaver (yes another John). The team is not trying to be subtle in their efforts. Kasich even urged Hickenlooper to visit New Hampshire in preparation for a possible run.
There is some pushback from other Democrats. One top strategist said, “No Dem wants Kasich anywhere near our ticket. Sounds like a No Labels fantasy, but moderate Dems would hate it.” But another veteran political operative wrote: “Our political system is completely broken. Something big and historic needs to happen to break the logjam. I’m a big Dem but I’m for anything that … does away with this hyper-partisanship on both sides that is paralyzing our government.”
What do you think about “the Johns?” Do you think they have a chance in 2020?